Thursday 30 March 2017

Liechtenstein State Opening of Parliament Speech - English Translation (2017)

Give by Hereditary Prince Alois - March 30th

Dear Members of Parliament,

After two legislative periods characterized by unpopular reforms to the rehabilitation of the state budget and social security and the transformation of the financial center, our country is in a good position. The state budget has been balanced, important steps have been taken to secure long-term social security and Liechtenstein as an internationally recognized partner. After years of reaction, the new legislative period offers the opportunity to initiate a new phase of future-oriented design.

At the same time, however, we are faced with major challenges. There is considerable uncertainty worldwide due to the trend towards political polarization, rising geopolitical tensions, uncontrolled migration flows and unsolved environmental problems. There is also a growing need for protectionism, and the EU - our largest trading partner - remains in a difficult situation.

We are also required to change by the ever-faster technological advances - above all due to digitalization. Jobs for the less skilled are declining, while skilled workers are difficult to find. The importance of the security and stability of the digital infrastructure and its protection against cycrime is increasing as the digital infrastructure becomes a basic requirement of daily life and a modern business. In addition, technological change raises new ethical questions. In the field of digitization, the right balance between data protection and the use of electronic data for the benefit of the population must be found.

Dear Members of Parliament,

Let us take advantage of the upcoming legislative period to better understand these challenges and to prioritize our investments in the future with regard to our time and financial resources. In the following, I would like to deliberately address only potential topics and raise some questions. The responses we should develop together with the population in the coming legislature period.

The previously mentioned digitization brings up many questions about the future:

  • What are the dangers of digitization? and how can people be made aware of these dangers?
  • What regulation is needed to make the most of the opportunities of digitalisation?
  • How can our education system at it's different levels be optimized to provide the right skills for the digital age?
  • To what extent is a certain digital infrastructure already be seen as part of the Public Service and thus the state is required to ensure a good level of digital quality and stability for the sites,
  • Could the use of digital technologies make government administration even more efficient and cost-effective?

We should also continue to deal with the state budget, albeit from other perspectives:
  • Are there state guarantees or state guarantees for municipalities, state-owned institutions or even for private persons, whose risks are still not fully understood?
  • Could we, through another guarantee of the Service Public, both reduce the risk to the state budget and release further funding?
  • Could we reduce the financial allocations to the municipalities in favor of future investments by means of a further division of tasks between land and municipalities and a further development of financial compensation?
In the field of social welfare, we have only recently implemented major reforms. In view of demographic and technological developments, however, this area remains a long-term issue and we should focus on the following issues in the next four years:

  • What short-term adjustments do the health insurance legislation require?
  • What challenges of health care should we address in a next step?
  • What is the best way to finance old-age care in the future?

One focus of the legislative period will be the search for innovative solutions for a better reconciliation of family and career. Here we should find answers to the following questions:
  • How can we ensure that all parents have the financial opportunity and thus a real choice to look after their children in their first year of life or to have them supervised by a third party?
  • How can we enable those who depend on both parents to provide a good extra-family care for their children after their first year of life?
  • How can we help our companies in the search for measures to make the family and work more compatible?
A good balance between family and work is, in my view, a strategic key to our country in several respects:
  • It is the basis for the long-term health of our families and our children,
  • It plays an increasingly important role in solving the deficit of skilled labor in our companies and is increasingly becoming a location factor and
  • I also consider it to be the most important prerequisite for the rise of more women in leadership positions, both in business and in politics.
In today's information society, reputation as a location factor also gains importance. In order to strengthen the reputation of the country, it would be worthwhile to think about improvements in the international representation of our country:
  • How can we successfully differentiate ourselves in an age of information overload and short attention span through interesting information about our unique state of affairs, our particular economic structure and our high quality of life?
  • How can we deal with further topics such as: An explicit focus on sustainability in social, economic and environmental issues?
  • How can we strategize our communications with each other strategically, and better coordinate visits, events and other encounters with foreign countries that we perceive at various levels?
Dear Members of Parliament,

Let us begin a new phase of future-oriented design. If we want to prepare our country for the most diverse challenges, we are facing a busy but exciting legislative period. For your new responsibilities I wish you strength, wisdom and God bless!

Monday 27 March 2017

Royal Military Academy Sandhurst - European Royals Attended

The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst was founded in 1947 when the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst merged.

The following is a list of Royals who graduated from Sandhurst since 1947. It's not a complete list. We've tried to limit it to current European monarchies (plus Jordan).

Most of the Royals listed were enrolled in the Commissioning Course for Regular Army officers, which is 44 weeks long. There are 3 of these courses a year: (January-December, May-March, and September-August). There is also the Commissioning Course Short, which is 8 weeks long.

Royals are listing by graduation date. Royals graduated from the Commissioning Course for Regular Army officers, expect when noted.

  • King Hussein of Jordan (1953)
  • Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (1955)
  • Prince Michael of Kent (1961)
  • Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg (1975)
  • Prince Jean of Luxembourg (1978)
  • King Abdullah II of Jordan (1981)
  • Prince Talal of Jordan (1984)
    • (King of Jordan's brother)
  • Princess Aisha of Jordan (1987)
    • (King of Jordan's sister)
  • Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein (1988)
  • Prince Ali of Jordan (1994)
    • (King of Jordan's half-brother)
  • Prince Hamzah of Jordan (1999)
    • (King of Jordan's half-brother)
  • Prince Hashim of Jordan (2000)
    • (King of Jordan's half-brother)
  • Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg (2002)
  • Princess Iman of Jordan (2003)
    • (King of Jordan's half-sister)
  • Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (April 2006)
  • Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (December 2006)
  • Prince Josef-Emanuel of Liechtenstein (December 2009)
    • (son of Prince Nikolaus)
  • Prince Sébastien of Luxembourg (August 2017)
  • Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan (August 2017)
  • Prince Johann Wenzel of Liechtenstein (August 2017)
    • (Son of Prince Gundakar)
  • Princess Salma of Jordan (November 2018, Commissioning Course Short)
Currently attending:

Thursday 23 March 2017

Royal Response to 2017 Westminster Attack


Following the shocking events in Westminster, Prince Philip and I are sorry that we will not be able to open the New Scotland Yard building as planned today, for very understandable reasons.  I look forward to visiting at a later date.

My thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathy are with all those who have been affected by yesterday's awful violence.

I know I speak for everyone in expressing my enduring thanks and admiration for the members of the Metropolitan Police Service and all who work so selflessly to help and protect others.



King Philippe made a private phone call to Queen Elizabeth Thursday morning to express his condolences.



Your Majesty,

The Grand Duchess and I are shocked to hear about the news of the terrible events yesterday near Westminster.

The Luxembourg people join us in expressing to Your Majesty our most heartfelt sympathy for the victims and their families.

In these times of uncertainty it is of utmost importance to stand together in the defence of our common values.

Grand Duke of Luxembourg

Luxembourg, March 23rd 2017


"Shocked by the London attack, all our solidarity with the British people & their institutions in the fight against terror."

King Felipe also sent a telegram to Queen Elizabeth.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen and I wish to convey our sincere condolences on the tragic loss of lives following the dreadful attack in London yesterday. We offer our heartfelt sympathies to the families of the victims and to the people of the United Kingdom.

Royal Palace, Stockholm
23 March 2017


I haven't seen any messages from Liechtenstein, Denmark, Netherlands, or Norway. But it is very likely they sent their condolences privately. 

Friday 10 March 2017

Spain State Visit (2017) - Main Page

July 12th - 14th

King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain will make a State Visit to the UK.

Spain State Visit 2017 - Previous visits UK to Spain/ Spain to UK


1973 -  Prince Juan Carlos and Princess Sofía attend wedding of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips 


1986 -  King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía make State Visit to the UK

1987 - Prince Charles and Princess Diana make official visit to Spain

1988 -  Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip makes State Visit to Spain


1992 - Prince Charles and Princess Diana visit Spain to attend Expo 92 

1995 - Prince Charles attends the wedding of Infanta Elena to Don Jaime de Marichalar 

1997  September - King Juan Carlos attend funeral of Princess Diana

1997 October - Prince Edward attends the wedding of Infanta Cristina and Inaki Urdangarin


2002 March - Prince Charles makes official visit to Spain

2002 April - King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophie attend funeral of Queen Mum

2002 June - King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophie attend Luncheon for the Knights Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter

2004 March - Prince Charles attends a service for the victims of the Madrid train bombings

2004 May - Prince Charles attends the wedding of Prince Felipe to Dona Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano 

2008 - Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia attend Prince Charles 60th Birthday party


2011 March  -  Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla make official visit to Spain to promote trade

2011 April -  Queen Sofía, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia attend Prince William's wedding to Kate Middleton

2011 November - 
Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia visit London 

2012 -  Queen Sofía, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia attend London Olympics

2014 - Princess Anne attends the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities Conference in Spain

2017 - King Felipe and Queen Letizia make State Visit to the UK

(By no means anywhere near a complete list)

Back to Spain State Visit 2017 - Main Page

Tuesday 7 March 2017

Charles and Camilla - Tour of Europe (2017)

Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla will tour Europe 29th March and 6th April 2017. Charles will visit Romania solo, before being joined by Duchess Camilla for a visit to Italy, the Vatican and Austria. The Tour is to highlight the UK's relationship with European partners in areas including social cohesion, military ties and combatting human trafficking.


Wednesday 29th Bucharest, Romania
  • Charles - Received by the Romanian Mission of Honour
    • Sign book of honor
  • Charles - Lay a wreath at National Memorial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
  • Charles - Meet with the President of Romania at Cotroceni Palace
  • Charles - Attend reception hosted by the President of Romania. 
    • Prince Charles will be presented with the Order of the Star of Romania

Thursday 30th - Romania
  • Charles - Visit the Romanian Village Museum
    •  View exhibitions and live demonstrations
  • Charles - Meet the Prime Minister of Romania
  • Charles - Visit Vacaresti Nature Park
    • Officially open a bird hide
    • Plant a willow tree
  • Charles - Visit an orphanage run by the FARA Foundation which transforms the lives of vulnerable and traumatized children and young people.
    • Meet children and Staff
  • Charles - Meet His Beatitude, the Romanian Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church
    • Visit Patriarchal Church and light a candle
  • Charles - Attend a meeting at the British Embassy on the issue of modern slavery
  • Charles - Meet TRH Crown Princess Margareta and Prince Radu of Romania for Tea
  • Charles -  Attend a reception at the Hilton Hotel to celebrate the work of the Prince's Foundation Romania 

Friday 31st - Romania
  • Charles - Walked through the Old Town of Hanul lui Manuc Caravanseri.
  • Charles - Visited Stravropoleos Church and Convent.
  • Charles - Visited the I. L. Caragiale National Theatre
  • Charles - Attended reception at the Hospice Casa Sperantei for Hospices of Hope.
  • Charles - Visited community-based projects in Vizuresti Village
  • Joint -  visited the British Institute of Florence, Lungarno Guicciardini 9, Florence


Saturday 1st - Italy
  • Charles - Attended a Service of Remembrance at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, Montecchio Precalcino.
  • Charles - Visited the Centre of Excellence for Stability Policing Units.
  • Charles - Laid a wreath at the Pasubio Ossuary, Vicenza.
  •  Charles -  Visited the Path of the 52 Tunnels 
  • Joint - Attended a Wine Industry Reception at the Villa San Michele Hotel, Florence.
  • Camilla - Visited la Gloriette - Centro Sociale Polivalente,  a villa in Naples which has been confiscated from the mafia and now houses a project to help young people socialize and integrate into their community. 
  • Camilla - Visited E. Marinella workshop and museum, Naples.
  • Camilla - Visited the archaeological site at Herculaneum, where she met with international partnerships and Italian expertise who are transforming the archaeological site and surrounding communities.

Sunday 2nd - Italy 
  • Charles - Visited the earthquake site at Amatrice, Lazio, and toured the "Red Zone" before visiting the Operations Centre and laying flowers at the Memorial.
  • Charles - Visited temporary housing and the Save the Children Pavilion at Amatrice, before attending a Reception for volunteers, emergency response personnel and local families and businesses.
  • Charles - Held a Meeting on International Cultural Initiatives, at the Villa San Michele Hotel, Florence.
  • Camilla - Met victims of trafficking and women who have experienced domestic abuse, at the Associazione Progetto Arcobaleno
  • Camilla - Visited the Vasari Corridor
  • Camilla - Visited St. Mark's English Church

Monday 3rd - Italy 
  • Joint - Their Royal Highnesses will visit a local market to celebrate the Slow Food movement
  • Joint - Visit an art restoration workshop
  • Joint - Attend an event for the Italian Wool Industry & The Prince of Wales's Campaign for Wool
  • Joint - Attend a gala dinner at Palazzo Vecchio
    •  Charles presented with the Renaissance Man of the Year Award
  • Charles - Visit the Caritas
  • Charles - Visit Palazzo Strozzi

Tuesday 4th - The Vatican
  • Joint - visit The British School at Rome
  • Joint -  visit the Vatican Secret Archives & the Vatican Library
  • Joint - Meet with Pope Francis 
    • Exchange gifts
  • Charles - visit the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue
  • Charles - visit the Venerable English College
  • Charles - visit the Apostolic Palace
Wednesday 5th - Italy & Austria

  • Joint - Attended a Reception at the British Embassy in Rome, Italy.
  • Joint - Received by The President of the Italian Republic at Quirinale Palace.
  • Charles - Called upon Mr. Paolo Gentiloni (Prime Minister of Italy) at Palazzo Chigi.
  • Charles - Attended a Plenary Discussion on the East Africa Famine at the Headquarters of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.
  • (Traveled to Austria)
  • Joint - Visited Café Demel, Vienna.
  • Joint - Received by The Federal President of the Republic of Austria and Mrs. Doris Schmidauer at Hofburg Palace.
  • Charles - Called upon Chancellor Christian Kern (Chancellor of the Republic of Austria) at Hofburg Palace.
  • Joint - Attended a Dinner at Hofburg Palace given by The Federal President of the Republic of Austria and Mrs. Doris Schmidauer.

Thursday 6th - Austria 
  • Joint - Visited the Jewish Museum.
  • Joint - Visited the Musikverein and attended a rehearsal by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Joint - Visited the vineyard, Weinbau Buschenschank Obermann.
  • Charles - Attended a Meeting at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
  • Charles - Visited the Austrian Integration Fund.
  • Joint - Attended a Reception given by Her Majesty's Ambassador to the Republic of Austria (His Excellency Mr. Leigh Turner) at the Residence.
  • Camilla - Visited the Spanish Riding School.

Wednesday 1 March 2017

March Q&A (2017)

As always, post your Royal Questions & I will get to them as soon as possible.

Question 1: To send a card to Prince George and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge what is the address? 

Answer: Mail for the Cambridges should be sent to Clarence House:

Clarence House

London SW1A  1BA

You can find all the addresses for the Royals under the "Writing to the Royals" Tab. 

Question 2: Harry took Cressida Bonas to Melissa Percy wedding - lots of pics. So MM showing up at the Inskip wedding is not quite the big deal is it? 

Answer: Cressida was not there as Harry's Date. Cressida was invited because she is a friend of the couple, particularly the van Straubenzee family. Her being invited to the wedding had nothing to do with her dating Prince Harry. She ran in that circle long before she was introduced to Harry. 

Was as with Meghan Markle and the Inskip wedding, she really only knew the bride and groom through her relationship with Harry, and was only invited because of him. 

There were weddings, like the Guy Pelly in Memphis, that Cressida was not invited to. She wasn't close to the couple and being Prince Harry's girlfriend wasn't enough to get an invite. So it is definitely a big deal that Meghan got an invite to the Inskip wedding. I think this is the first time Harry has ever brought a date to a wedding. Previously any girlfriend had gotten their own invite because she was friends with the couple. 

Question 3: How does Prince Carl Philip introduce himself? Does he use Carl Philip? Or just one name?

Answer: He uses Carl Philip. Having two first names is very common in Sweden. His full name is Carl Philip Edmund Bertil. His friends call him Philip sometimes. 

Question 4: I recently heard that Clarence House is looking for someone to help to respond to many letters for royals. Do you know what qualifications has to have to get that job? 

Answer: The listing is no longer on their website, as I think they filled that post already. But I would guess you need basic written and verbal skills, discretion, etc.

The Job would mainly be opening and sorting mail, distributing it to offices within Clarence House, addressing envelopes, sending out the photo cards replys, etc. The letters sent out from Clarence House usually come for the head of the correspondence section (Claudia Spens) or one of the Private secretaries. So you wouldn't likely be writing a lot of letters yourself to people. But you may be dictated letters, or asked to do some research or make notes so the appropriate person has what they need to write their letter. 

Question 5: Would it be appropriate to write a letter to Rebecca Deacon for her nuptials yesterday?

Answer: Rebecca is very much aware that people know who she is, and she is in the spotlight a bit because of her job. But she is not a public official; she is a private citizen. Her wedding was a private, personal thing, and really had nothing to do with her job. So I do think it's a little awkward to send a letter to someone you don't know at their work about their wedding. There should be a distinction between one's personal life and one's work life. At work, you get work mail. At home, you get personal mail. Of course, with royals the lines between personal and work are blurred, and that does spill over into their staff as well. So I don't think it would be highly inappropriate. But I expect you would not get a reply. 

However, if you wanted to write to Rebecca about a work related thing that would be appropriate.  (I.e. send her your best wishes for the future following the news she is stepping down as Kate's Private Secretary.) We all love Kate and are very supportive of the work she does. And we know it's only possible through the hard work of all her staff. So a thank you to a valued member of Kate's team, who is leaving, is a nice thing to do. Than of course if you wanted to congratulate her on her wedding at the end of the letter, that's fine. I would just keep the main focus work related. I don't know if she or her office would reply. But given that it's work related it would be much more likely. 

Question 6: I received letters from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge signed by both Rebecca Deacon and Claudia Spens, is there a reason for this?

Answer: "Signed by both"? Do you mean one letter signed by both? Or one letter by Rebecca and one by Claudia?

Claudia Spens is the head of Clarence House's Correspondence Section, which handles Charles, Camilla, Cambridges, & Harry's mail. She writes most of the letters people get in reply. 

Rebecca Deacon is Kate's Private Secretary. Her office at Kensington Palace doesn't deal with much mail. They will get forwarded things from the correspondence section that need their attention. Also a section for them and the Royals to look at, to see what people are writing. The Royals obviously can read all of their mail, but they can be shown some select ones.